The Official Voice of Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. ®
An organization chartered by the U.S. Congress

July 2003
MEMBERSHIP NOTES
 
 

 

BY A VVA STAFF REPORT

Steve Parsons points out in the latest edition of >The Point, newsletter of Tri-State Appalachian Chapter 172, that Vietnam veterans can be proud that the gestures of support for our men and women in uniform is a direct result of VVA's Founding Principle, ``Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.'' He writes: ``This latest generation of veterans will never know or understand what we as Vietnam veterans went through when we returned from Vietnam, and that's the way it should be. They will come home to an America that loves and respects them. Long after we are gone, the legacy of respect for veterans will carry on and hopefully never again fade.''

Regina Whitaker reports that Cumberland, Maryland, Chapter 172 President Randy Golden has authorized her to place a ``Support The Troops'' box in the chapter office. Hard candy, toiletries, beef jerky, and other non-perishable food items, as well as personal care products, will be collected for distribution to our men and women in uniform stationed around the world.

The Illinois State Council adopted a resolution declaring their ``pride in and steadfast support of the Armed Forces of the United States.'' Simon Sierra wrote the resolution, which is available to other state councils and chapters who want to express their public support for the troops. For additional information, e-mail cnearly1@aol.com

Charles Harris, Color Guard Leader for Chapter 734 in the Ellis Correctional Unit in Huntsville, Texas, reports that the chapter held a special ceremony on Memorial Day. ``Though we are in a place where we tend to be forgotten, we want to say that we will not forget,'' Harris said. In addition to saluting those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice, the event also recognized those who have helped the chapter meet its commitment to serve veterans. SFC Richard E. Wolfe (deceased), Texas State Council Veterans Incarcerated Liaison Lynda Green, Senior Warden Tim Morgan, Chaplain Stanley (USMC, Retired), Volunteer Jimmy Stockton, and ``Gunny'' Margarito Vasquez (USMC, Retired) were acknowledged.

Chapter 490 in Des Moines, Iowa, has contributed funds to restore the Spanish-American War monument located on the state capitol grounds. When refurbished, the memorial will be moved to a new location near the Vietnam and Korean War monuments.

Chapter 873 in Dallas, Georgia, conducted Memorial Day services at Carestone Assisted Living Home in Austell, honoring the widows of World War II and all veterans residing in the home. D-Day veteran and resident Tom Rushtin, 85, presented a brief history of Memorial Day and recounted his experiences on Normandy Beach. Chapter Vice President Richard Trench and Secretary Dennis Koziel were joined by the Dobbins Air Force Base Color Guard, which folded a flag and explained the symbolism of each of the thirteen folds.

Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sponsored five ``Support Our Troops'' rallies in Washtenaw County. Chapter President John Kinzinger and Secretary Gary Lillie came up with the idea, and chapter members were overwhelmingly in support. The first rally was held at the University of Michigan, where numerous antiwar rallies were held during the Vietnam War. A rally was held each Saturday until the war was over, concluding with a celebration of ``Mission Accomplished.'' Southeast Michigan residents donated thousands of items to our military men and women in the Gulf, along with more than a thousand letters and cards. Gold Star Mother Della McIntire, whose son Walter was killed in Vietnam, took part in one of the rallies. Chapter 310 was honored as 1999 VVA Chapter of the Year.

Near the end of March, Paul Fusco, a Life Member in Chapter 855 in Manchester, New Jersey, sent an e-mail to Assistant Newsletter Editor Sandie Pape. In part, the e-mail said, ``It's time to do something to show the military we are behind them.'' Two weeks later, on April 12, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial was the site of a ``Support The Troops'' rally that featured Gov. James E. McGreevy; Kelly Watts, director of the Memorial; Dan Edwards, president of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation; and Col. Len Luzky, representing the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. They were joined by VVA State Council 2nd Vice President Pete Zemlanski, State Council Chaplain Joe Formola, and VVA chapter representatives from across the state.

HONORS

Porter County Chapter 905 in Portage, Indiana, was presented with the Indiana State Council New Chapter of the Year Award by State President Ann Marie Rutallie. She also awarded chapter member John Rilea with Most Membership Award.

Region 1 Director and Vermont State Council President John Miner reports that Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) has introduced a Senate Resolution commemorating the 25th anniversary of the founding of Vietnam Veterans of America and recognizing the contribution our members have made to their communities and our nation.

Members of Chapter 767 in Racine, Wisconsin, recently cleaned up the Veterans Memorial in Pritchard Park. The project included spreading 74 cubic yards of mulch and pruning shrubs and bushes in preparation for the seventh annual Day In The Park fund-raiser sponsored by the chapter. The proceeds are shared with the Children's Burn Camp in East Troy, Wisconsin.

MEMORIALS

Liberty Chapter 789 in Hinesville, Georgia, joined with the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) to dedicate the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, LZ Liberty at Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield in May. Guest Speaker was Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught, who was Chief of Staff of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg from June 1973 to October 1974.

St. Lucie County Chapter 566 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, dedicated the Florida Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in June. The theme of the memorial is ``As Long As We Speak Their Names, They Will Never Be Forgotten.'' The 48-foot granite memorial contains the names of 1,952 Floridians killed in the Vietnam War. It is located in Veterans Memorial Park at Rivergate.

Delaware County Chapter 67 in Media, Pennsylvania, presented the 18th annual Donald W. Jones Flag Memorial Display and Ceremony in June. The event features a display of more than 58,000 American flags arranged in the shape of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

EDUCATION

Chapter 731 in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, received thank-you notes from students who took part in chapter educational outreach programs. Stacy Stock and Lindsay Draheim thanked chapter members Tom Hoffman and Mike Demske for thoughtful and interesting presentations. One highlight for Stock was when Hoffman and Demske had students bring American flags forward as they read the names of local men killed in Vietnam. ``I learned a lot about the things the history book doesn't tell you,'' said Stock.

Chapter 11 in Farmingville, New York, donated two POW/MIA flags to Kings Park High School. Principal Thomas J. Fasano wrote the chapter thanking them for the gesture and assured them, ``The flags will be prominently displayed and maintained in remembrance of all who served our nation.''

SCHOLARSHIPS

Andr‚ Kuhar received the 2003 Scholarship from South Jersey Chapter 825 in Mays Landing.

Big Sky Chapter 334 and AVVA members in Billings, Montana, awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Ryanne Teesdale of Bridger, Montana. Teesdale will study elementary education at Montana State University-Billings.

Kettle Moraine Chapter 448 in Newburg, Wisconsin, presented scholarships to Katherine Draper and Amanda Cottrell.

Chapter 670 in Columbus, Ohio, presented two $500 scholarships to area students.

Chapter 20 in Rochester, New York, awarded scholarships to Kari Plymette and Dan McLaughlin.

HOMELESS VETERANS

Incarcerated Chapter 616 in Mansfield, Ohio, donated more than 200 pounds of canned goods and $500 to the Buckeye State Council for homeless veterans assistance.

DONATIONS

$1,000 was donated by Chapter 310 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to the 101st Airborne Eagle Family Support Group to help the families of young enlisted men with bills and food while their loved ones are abroad.

Chapter 616 recently donated $2,000 to the Domestic Violence Shelter of Richland County, Ohio. The incarcerated chapter's total donation to the shelter this year is $5,270.

A MATTER OF HEALTH

Chapter 855 in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey, has begun including a series of health-related articles in the chapter newsletter. The articles are written by Tina Trager, a nutrition and weight-loss counselor. In her first installment, she noted that 75 percent of all deaths in the United States are the result of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Some 70 percent of those could be prevented with good nutrition and exercise.

As one of their first duties as newly elected officers of Chapter 72 in Brooklyn, New York, President Luigi Masu and 1st Vice President Mike Guerin attended a reception at Brooklyn Borough Hall for the Kings County Memorial Day Parade in Brooklyn. The historic building had been draped with a Garrison Flag provided by Borough President Marty Markowitz.

Cincinnati, Ohio, Chapter 10 held its annual golf tournament to raise money for the chapter scholarship and Adopt-A-Child Programs. Twenty-seven foursomes took part in the very successful event.

Members of Monroe, Michigan, Chapter 142 have no excuses for not attending chapter functions. The chapter calendar for the entire year is included in the March/April edition of the chapter newsletter, LZ 142.

SOMEBODY OUGHT TO THANK THESE GUYS

Pat Pudetti of Rochester Chapter 20 writes personal thank-you notes to chapter volunteers who helped determine recipients of the Chapter Veterans Service Award and Special Recognition Awards. Those serving on the Awards Committee are Bill Meminger, Ray Melens, Bruce McDaniel, and Chuck Macaluso. Pudetti also thanked several members who got together to do chores for a disabled veteran. Ralph Pascale, Geno Lynsk, Nick DeLeo, Dick Oleksyn, Jack Prinzig, and Pudetti moved furniture in the veteran's home.

IT'S IN THE BANK

Thomas St. Onge Chapter 571 in Hermansville, Michigan, recently moved its new headquarters to the former First National Bank Building in Hermansville. Chapter members have been remodeling the structure to provide handicap access. The large vault is used to secure chapter records and color guard rifles. The kitchen area will be used for chapter functions. Students from Phoenix High School in Powers, Michigan, have created a catalog of artifacts held by the Thomas St. Onge Vietnam Veterans Memorial Museum. The museum is located in Thomas St. Onge Veterans Park within sight of the new chapter home.

Chapter 278 in Texarkana, Texas, held its seventh Annual Veterans Information Fair, featuring representatives from the Texarkana VA Outpatient Clinic, VA Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, Social Security Administration, Texas Workforce Commission, Shreveport Vet Center, and other service providers. The one-stop shop for veterans' services also will hold a voter registration drive.

TALKING THE WALK, WALKING THE TALK

Chapter 218 in Santa Barbara, California, conducted a surprise inspection recently and found some members without membership applications in their possession. This infraction carries a monetary fine for the guilty parties.
 

   

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